London-based MGA Harbour Underwriting has launched with an after-the-event (ATE) commercial dispute insurance proposition and with A-rated capacity provided by Hamilton Insurance DAC.
Harbour Underwriting, formerly Quantum Legal Costs Cover Ltd (QLCC), is a specialist underwriter that provides commercial dispute insurance for both claimants and defendants.
It offers ATE insurance, which is purchased after a dispute has arisen and protects the claimant or defendant by reducing the potential downside in bringing or defending a legal claim.
Harbour Underwriting’s sister company, Harbour Litigation Funding (HLF), is one of the largest privately owned litigation funders in the world. It was previously named by the Hiscox Action Group as the policyholder action group’s chosen partner to underwrite its legal costs.
The MGA is led by Sharon Brown, who joined the business last year. She was previously chief sales officer at Miles Smith, where she led the development and distribution of a number of schemes specialising in hard markets and high-risk areas.
The underwriting team is led by underwriting director Rocco Pirozzolo, who joined QLCC in 2017 and is a former director of litigation funding at HLF.
Brown explained that the MGA was born out of an increasing opportunity in the ATE market and said law firms are already seeing an upsurge in potential cases following the pandemic and the legal complexities relating to the lockdown.
“Lawyers involved in litigation are under a duty to advise their clients on all appropriate insurance and funding options, including where relevant ATE insurance. Brokers should be aware of the opportunities this presents,” she said.
Pirozzolo added: “History has taught us that commercial litigation increases in a recession as firms look to recoup losses, such as those caused by contract disputes.
“For brokers, the way ATE policies are traded has evolved significantly. They have always helped individuals and firms to access legal representation and, ultimately, justice. However, some firms assume that ATE insurance is still limited to covering legal fees for bringing a claim. That is not the case with Harbour Underwriting, and we are very much here to tailor individual insurance solutions to individual disputes.”